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EPA Selects Cleanup Plan For Creosote-Contaminated Buried Lagoons And Canals At Federal Superfund in Manville, New Jersey

Release Date: 09/30/1999
Contact Information: Richard Cahill (212) 637-3666 /

(#99153) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided how it will clean up chemically-contaminated lagoons and canals buried under a residential community in Manville, New Jersey that was built over a former railroad tie creosoting facility. The thick, dark brown creosote is considered to be the source of soil and groundwater contamination in the neighborhood. The plan, which calls for the removal of contaminated soil from the lagoons and canals, provides for the temporary relocation of some residents during the work and the permanent relocation of families from some affected residences.

"EPA took immediate action to protect residents from direct contact with surface soil that contained high levels of creosote," said EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox. "Now our priority has turned to the long-term cleanup of this community, which we plan to begin as early as next summer."

EPA placed the Federal Creosote Superfund site on its National Priorities List (NPL) of the most serious hazardous waste sites on January 19 of this year, which made it eligible for financing cleanup work through the Superfund Trust Fund. The major elements of EPA's cleanup plan consists of the following actions:

- permanent relocation of residents from 10 to 19 properties within the canal and lagoon sources areas, and temporary relocation of others, when necessary, to conduct the cleanup work;

- excavation of source material from the canal and lagoon areas, backfilling with clean fill, and property restoration as necessary;

- transportation of the source material for its off-site thermal treatment and disposal.

The total cost of the cleanup is expected to run approximately $59 million.

The FEDERAL CREOSOTE site in Manville Borough is a 137-property residential community. In late 1997, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) requested EPA assistance in determining if the presence of creosote in the soils of the development posed a significant risk to public health and the environment. EPA sampling at numerous residential properties within the Claremont Development in the spring of 1998 indicated the presence of creosote, as well as other compounds, at elevated levels in the surface soils on 19 residential properties. The Agency also sampled sub-surface soils to further delineate the extent of the contamination in the lagoon and canal areas of the Claremont Development. This investigation and subsequent study led to the cleanup plan that EPA is announcing today.

For more information contact:

Richard Cahill, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3666 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: